CSA update: After the storm

Farm volunteers cleared the debris and prepared the flood-soaked crops for composting.


The core idea of community-supported agriculture is that those who purchase shares become stakeholders in the farms they support, sharing the benefits of a great harvest season and the risks of a scant one.

This week, our farm’s dice came up snake eyes.

Monday’s storm surge covered the farm with several feet of water, and Added Value’s office also flooded, drowning its computers and other gear. Ian estimates that the equipment damage is in the $10,000 – $40,000 range — and that’s not counting the crop losses.

The good news is that the farm is committed to rebuilding. The soil is being tested to find out what contaminants got in (petroleum, at minimum, is pretty likely), and Added Value is putting together a list of what equipment and infrastructure is needed to get  back in business. Stay tuned on more updates on how you can help.

We still had a few weeks left on our CSA season. Here’s where things stand with each of the shares.

Veggies: Done for the season. Anything that didn’t drown risked being contaminated. Volunteers hit the farm on Saturday (check out this video about the effort) to pull everything that remained up for compost.

Eggs: These were being paid for by Added Value on a month-to-month basis, and hadn’t been delivered recently because the provider abruptly lost most of its flock late this summer. The CSA was about three weeks behind on vouchers to offset the missing eggs. Right now, that money remains in Added Value’s coffers. Anyone who would like a refund for their missing eggs can email redhookbkcsa@gmail.com; otherwise, those egg payments will become a farm donation.

Cheese: Saxelby’s had its cheese cave in Red Hook. We’re trying to get in touch to find out how it weathered the storm. Stay tuned for an update on what happens to the last few weeks of cheese deliveries.

Fruit: Our fruit came from outside the city, and the CSA is reaching out to fruit vendors to see if we can arrange the last few weeks of fruit delivery. If so, it’ll be available at the usual pickup spot on the farm, though probably for curtailed hours — likely 10 am to noon on Saturday. Stay tuned for an update.

Fish: Mermaid’s Garden extended all subscriptions by a week to offset the missed delivery on 11/3. Deliveries are on track to resume 11/10 with pickups at the farm as usual, Saturday 10am to noon.

If you have any questions, please comment on the blog or email redhookbkcsa@gmail.com. Thanks for your commitment to the farm and the CSA. We look forward to being back in business next summer.